From the CEO: Coup in Myanmar

In light of the recent news from Myanmar, it falls upon those of us who lead organizations dedicated to human rights to speak out. In the early hours of 1 February, 2021, members of Myanmar’s military, the Tatmadaw, detained President Win Myint, State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, and members of the National League for Democracy across Myanmar. These reports raise concerns of an ongoing coup in the wake of weeks of election conspiracy in the nation.

Such an act is not unheard of in Myanmar’s history, and the execution of the current coup echoes the 1962 takeover by General Ne Win which led to decades of genocidal violence that continue today. It is with that in mind that I, along with my colleagues at the Crane Center and around the world, call for the release of Win Myint, members of the NLD, and Aung San Suu Kyi. It is my fear that failure to release all parties above could lead to widespread violence in Myanmar as the military attempts to put down protests against the detentions.

I also join the call to encourage the Tatmadaw leadership to correct its course and abide by Myanmar’s constitution. Absent that, President Joseph Biden of the United States of America must consider repealing the executive order suspending sanctions against Tatmadaw officials, for this coup acts not only as an affront to the democratic will of the Burmese people but as a shield for those in the Tatmadaw as well as many detained by them who are complicit in genocide.

In Solidarity,
Marcus Steiner
Chief Executive Officer
Crane Center for Mass Atrocity Prevention